I just got back last night from a 10-day vacation in the Caribbean, and it was definitely one of the best trips of my life! We took a cruise to Haiti, Jamaica, and Cozumel, stopping at each port for a day to wander around and enjoy what each country had to offer. We ate amazing food, laid out on the most beautiful beaches imaginable, and allowed ourselves to truly unplug and relax.
While on the boat, I made a point to keep up with my yoga practice, even if just for a few minutes each day. I found a little spot on the bow of the ship where I could do my morning flow and listen to the waves crash blow me. Definitely a magical experience!
Travel, although exciting and fun, can be detrimental to our sleep patterns & energy levels. This is why yoga is SO important when you travel! Yoga brings us back to center in the midst of chaos and allows us to calm the stress we gained from traveling. Plus, you can do it virtually anywhere! Here are my top 5 reasons to practice yoga while traveling:
1. Gives You the Opportunity to Practice Yoga in New Places
Humans are creatures of habit, and we tend to find ourselves practicing yoga in the same places every week. Whether it’s at your local yoga studio, or even just in your living room, we often gravitate towards the same places to practice yoga (I’m definitely a studio practice kind of girl!)
The fun part about traveling is that we get to experiment with new places to practice. I practiced yoga on the beach, on my balcony, and various parts of the ship. Practicing in different locations can do wonders for your mind and cultivating creativity. What a unique opportunity to change up your routine!
2. Helps Regulate Your Sleep/Wake Cycle
There can be a lot of stress and excitement that comes with traveling, and often it leads to a change in your sleep/wake cycle. Even a one-hour time zone change can throw off your body and make it hard to wake up or go to bed at a reasonable time. My body was totally thrown off for the first few days of the trip, and I definitely feel it now that I’m back home!
Studies have shown that yoga not only helps you fall asleep faster, but also improves the quality of your sleep. Certain poses such as ‘triangle pose’ and ‘legs up the wall’ before bed can help calm body and bring blood and oxygen to your brain. Yoga also helps relax the muscles, lowers stress, and helps you get ready for a great night’s sleep!
3. Boosts Your Immunity
We all know how quickly germs can spread in an airport, on a boat, or any sort of public space for that matter. Did you know one person’s cough or sneeze can travel up to 20 feet, and stay in the air for up to 10 minutes? Gross! Yoga gives a holistic approach to help your body stay strong and reduce stress levels, which a primary factor for a weak immune system. Keeping up with a regular yoga practice can help your body keep sickness and diseases at bay.
4. Anxiety Reduction
Fun fact: Our flight was delayed over 3 hours due to weather on the way to Florida. We also had to change terminals, and we were worried we wouldn’t even be able to make it to our destination that night. Thankfully we were able to make it home without further delay, but it definitely made the trip a lot more stressful!
Travel tends to be an exhausting activity anyway, but with the addition of weather delays, catching connecting flights and crowds, it can cause anyone’s anxiety to go through the roof! Yoga provides me with some time to come back to the present moment and focus on my breath. Yoga (especially vinyasa) increases blood flow through the body and can help fight anxiety, tension, and fatigue.
5. It Makes Your Body Feel AMAZING!
Lifting heavy suitcases and sitting in the same seated position on a flight with little to no movement for hours on end can be straining on your body to say the least. Plus, with all the walking and hiking we did on our trip, my muscles were definitely sore most nights! Yoga relaxes and releases tight muscles and gets the blood flowing to help wake up your body. It can also help strengthen your body to keep you safe from injury. I always feel so much better, even after just a few minutes of stretching and movement. Remember that every little bit counts!
I would love to hear from you! Do you practice yoga when you travel?